Friday, 17 November, 2017

Apple may release AR headset 2020: Can it compete?

Microsoft hololens Microsoft Holo Lens brings AR experiences to the work placeMicrosoft
Earnest Maxwell | 09 November, 2017, 00:53

Apple started its earlier development on AR while working on augmented reality toolkits for iPhones and iPads. The company has been working on the augmented reality technology behind the scenes and it aims at readying the technology ready for an AR headset by 2019 according to a report by Bloomberg.

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The operating system is known internally at Cupertino as "rOS" (for reality operating system).

Apple did not immediately respond to PCMag's request for comment.

It's hard to imagine what this augmented reality headset will look like. If all goes well, we could see an AR headset as soon as 2020. Previous year it was reported Apple was working on its own version of Google Glass - smart glasses created to display images and information in its wearer's line of vision. It sounds like the best of both worlds, so it's understandable that Apple needs more time than usual to develop one for its AR headset.

Cook believes augmented reality is a more important technology than virtual reality.

While many VR and AR headsets on the market require a phone to act as a the brains of the operation, Apple wants to launch a standalone AR headset that isn't reliant on your phone to work.

AR could help Apple re-energize its fan base and re-establish its mobile leadership, according to TechRepublic's Conner Forrest. The headset will have its own display and use a custom system-on-a-chip, just like the Apple Watch now does. The headset would feature its own display rather than relying an iPhone, and it would run a new spin-off from iOS in the vein of watchOS or tvOS, now called rOS internally, for "reality operating system". The headset will be capable of running its own apps, and have access to a dedicated version of Apple's app store.

Apple engineers are reportedly experimenting with ways to interact with the headset, either by voice, touch, or head gestures.

If true, Apple's timeline seems to fall in line with the current state of other AR headsets. Multiple challenges remain unsolved, including designing a wireless device that can display AR visuals for long enough without depleting the battery. This is apparently an interim step, in order to give Apple an opportunity to test the technology on an existing product.

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